In Business: Better to be Smart, or Right?
When asked during a panel discussion with other esteemed business executives, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.com said that what he looks for most when deciding who to promote to a leadership position, he said, “I want people who are right most of the time.”
This is an interesting observation for leadership in business. Most people when asked what the most important traits for employees or leaders in business would normally say something like “intelligence”, “initiative”, or “integrity.” “Gets things done”, are common measurements of a successful leader.
But according to CNBC contributor Suzy Welch, Bezos at the panel discussion said, “I don’t care how smart they are, I want to see a track record of hard decisions that ended up being right.”
Another great takeaway quote from Jeff Bezos during the discussion was, “It’s always better in business to be right than smart. Smart people can be wrong a lot.”
As an employee or a leader in business it is important to ask yourself, “Am I smart, or am I right?” Your track record of being right or wrong on important decisions is a self-evident indication of your ability.
Are you trying to be right, or are you trying to be or look smart? Having a different perspective based on Bezos’ “out of the box” observation can make one more self-aware as to how to better contribute to the team and how to better pick teammates who should lead.